Beta Glucan in Topical Skin Care

What is Beta Glucan?

Beta Glucan can be found in the cell walls of cereals (oats, barley), certain types of mushrooms (reishi, shiitake, maitake), yeasts, seaweed, and algae. A lesser amount is found in wheat, rye, and sorghum.

β-glucan is a linear polymer of glucose and was originally used for treating wounds (Wei et al., 2002), but its use expanded to cosmetic applications when patients noticed that it reduced fine lines and wrinkles in the applied area (Pillai, 2005).

What does it do topically for the skin?

ꞵ-Glucan helps to restore skin’s moisture barrier and soothes irritated skin, and studies have shown that it helps to stimulate fibroblasts that promote collagen and elastin formation making it an amazing ingredient for anti-aging.

Where can I find it?

You can find Beta-Glucan in Specktra6’s Active Hydration Serum and Cucumber Milk Cleanser.  This product duo is a must for irritated, dry winter skin, helping to normalize and hydrate, combat signs of aging and calm redness and irritation. Email us at for more info and to get the special pricing when you buy both the cleanser and the serum!

Specktra6 Skincare Products

Why I can’t recommend CeraVe

The acne product that may cause more acne!

When asked which drugstore brands I’d recommend, I used to generally say “CeraVe products are pretty good.”. I liked the fact that they contained ceramides, which is something your skin needs to stay healthy.⁣⁣
I was in Walgreens the other day, and I like to see what they have for skin care. Seeing a CeraVe product in their acne section piqued my interest.⁣⁣
I spotted their Retinol Resurfacing Serum, which claims to “reduce the appearance of post acne marks and pores” – which some of the ingredients I have no doubt help to do- but I saw a big problem!⁣

If you read through the ingredient list you’ll see Isopropyl Myristate. It’s an emollient and an ingredient to help with product absorption into your skin.⁣

Isopropyl Myristate is a 5/5 on probably every pore clogging list you’ll find. ⁣

So- this product may help to fade your acne scars, but it isn’t doing you any favors because it will cause more acne to form!⁣

If you have red or brown marks on your skin and want to fade them without breaking out more, Specktra6 carries a few different formulas that can help you out.   Contact us to find the perfect product for you!

Your face should get on Specktra6’s A List™!

Coming soon to Specktra6’s Skin Care Product line up…

We are extremely excited to be offering our new Vitamin A serum lineup, “The A- List™.”

Vitamin A is an amazing ingredient in skin care. Our bodies can’t make their own A, we need to either get it from food, or to topically apply it.  To get the best results for you skin, Specktra6 recommends applying it via serums or moisturizers daily.

Topically applied vitamin As (retinol, retinyls) stimulate collagen and elastin production (there’s your anti-aging benefits!).  It also helps to regulate shedding within your pores, keeping them clear, which means clearer skin for you!

Keep on the lookout for Specktra6’s A-List Level 1™, A-List Level 2™, and A-List Level 3™

applying body lotion care cosmetic product


Do You Feel Beautiful?

They say happiness is an inside job, and so is beauty! Problem is, it’s hard to feel beautiful when you’re weighed down by the wear and tear of everyday stressors, from work deadlines to the perpetual dish pile. It’s time to lighten up a little so you can feel renewed and radiant!

Beautiful Skin, Relax at Specktra6 in SheboyganHere are a few easy tips for reducing stress and boosting your beauty—and joy—quotient this spring, compliments of Women’s Health.
Drop the donut!
So many of us turn to our favorite comfort foods when stressed. Unfortunately, most comfort foods feature refined carbs and high amounts of sugar or salt, which quickly add up to weight gain and energy crashes, so you ultimately feel worse. Do your mood and waistline a favor by replenishing your energy reserves with high-protein snacks that keep your blood sugar level steady, such as nuts, fresh fruits and veggies.

Try a new hairstyle.
It doesn’t matter what you do, the point is to mix things up! Take a different road to work or eat something new for breakfast. New experiences are a brilliant way to break free from dull routines, boosting your energy and spirit for total body invigoration.  If you need a new stylist here in Sheboygan, I can refer you to one!

Be present.
How much time do you spend thinking about the past or worrying about the future? It’s probably a lot more than you think! Did you know that focusing on the present—also known as mindfulness—is clinically proven to help lower stress and increase happiness? It’s ok if your mind wanders, the key is to simply refocus on the present moment when you remember.

We are on a mission to help you achieve your best from the inside out! Make an appointment now for a Deep Tissue Barefoot Massage or an Advanced Skin Care Facial using Environ and Specktra6’s own products.

The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift

It’s no secret that radiant skin is the ultimate gift for Mother’s Day—or any day, for that matter! This year, give Mom a gift she’ll enjoy throughout the year by treating her to our results-driven, scientifically-based skin care formulations, designed to reveal the look of younger, healthier skin at any age.

Here at Specktra6 in Sheboygan, we are at the ready to help you select the ideal products to bring out Mom’s luminous best. Here are a few ideas to get your gift-giving juices flowing:

TLC for the eyes
The delicate skin surrounding the eyes is one of the first areas to show signs of aging. Help Mom achieve a refreshed and more youthful look to her eyes with Skin EssentiA® Antioxidant & Peptide Eye Gel. Scientifically formulated for the delicate eye area, this replenishing gel is bursting with antioxidants, peptides and vitamins to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and reveal the look of intensely hydrated, youthful skin.
Give Mom an “A”
Actually, we mean “The A,” as in vitamin A—arguably, the most important vitamin in skin care today. Vitamin A is the secret to skin that looks younger, healthier, smoother and firmer. Environ moisturizers and serums help to normalize the appearance of skin abnormalities and sun damage to reveal healthy-looking skin that looks A-mazingly renewed! Vitamin A does it all, helping skin to look more evenly-toned, giving skin a firmer and smoother appearance and improving the look of premature aging and fine lines. What more could Mom ask for?

A Relaxing Experience
We offer gift cards  for massages and for skin care facials.  Mom can also choose to use the card to experience one of the beneficial skin care products mentioned above.  Skip the chaotic Mother’s Day Brunch and give her the chance to relax and renew!Spa in Sheboygan, WI

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

How well do you know your skin?

Since May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the time is right to discuss your knowledge of skin cancer and skin health. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself!

For starters, did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., with over 5 million cases diagnosed each year? Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer.

Specktra6 Skin Care in Sheboygan, WI

 Here’s what you can do to lower your risk:

Wear sunscreen, rain or shine, 365 days a year.

Think of sunscreen like your underwear—you wouldn’t get dressed or leave the house without it. Sunscreen is your biggest defender against dangerous UV rays, which are responsible for 85% of all melanomas and 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers. Research indicates that the most effective sunscreens combine SPF with antioxidants so you’re not only protecting your skin, but also replenishing it with powerful healing agents.

Specktra6 carries a few different kinds of SPF to fit your individual needs.  Contact us to pick the right one for you-

Get to know your skin.

In addition to your annual skin cancer screening performed by your doctor or dermatologist, you should have a general awareness of your skin’s normal appearance, including freckles, moles, and other imperfections. If you notice any change, it’s important to see your doctor. Early diagnosis is the key to survival with skin cancer. To help you detect skin cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages, just remember ABCDE:
A-Asymmetrical moles
B-Border is uneven or jagged
C-Color is varied (red, brown & black)
D-Diameter is larger than the eraser on a pencil tip
E-Evolution of mole as it changes size, elevation or color

Specktra6 in Sheboygan knows skin care and can help you choose formulations to help diminish the look of sun damaged skin while also preventing the effects of further damage.  Specktra6

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon! Calming Gel Hydrator™

Specktra6® is excited to announce that in early 2018, we are adding an acne-safe gel hydrator to our line up! Calming Gel Hydrator™ is sure to become a favorite.
Since it is water based, it can be layered over or under your benzoyl peroxide.
If you’ve got an oily skin, but still need some moisture but hate heavy creams, this will be your go-to hydrating gel!
If you’re on the dryer side, Calming Gel Hydrator™ can be layered under your moisturizing creme!

pink flowers on wooden with word Coming SoonCalming Gel Hydrator™ – Coming Soon!

Coconut oil- Why you *shouldn’t* use it on your face!

There have been many times where I’ve had a new skin care client tell me that they use coconut oil as their moisturizer.  I have been able to tell them that it’s *not* good for their skin, but I don’t think I’m always making sense to them.  When I ramble about percentages of oleic and linoleic within a certain oil, I’m pretty sure their eyes start to glaze over and I’m tuned out.  I don’t blame them.  It took me a while to be able to understand it myself.

I’ve searched for studies on PubMed specifically citing the use of coconut oil and topical skin applications, and I haven’t been able to find any that have the specifics that I’m looking for.  I’ve found it helps to show my clients the summaries of the studies I find, as they are way more easy to comprehend than all the technical stuff within the study.

My good friend and colleague, Beth Kenerson, is my guest today to factually (and maybe a bit snarkily) explain why you shouldn’t be using coconut oil as a skin care cream.

I’m always a little baffled when people argue against legitimate, black and white, scientific facts. All the girlie blogs, paid quack reports, and organic, anecdotal DIY in the world doesn’t change the chemical behavior of a substance. Cocos Nucifera Oil is comedogenic for facial skin. That’s the way its fatty acid profile works.

Just because your face isn’t filled with pustules doesn’t mean that coconut oil isn’t gradually breaking down your skin’s acid mantle, slowly inflaming your pores and creating a sea of congestion you WILL see at some point, whether it be actual breakouts or finely textured sandpaper similar bumps, barely visible to the naked eye. Nonstop inflammation is nonstop age acceleration.
You know how one day you had a chest like a 12-year old, and seemingly the next day it was lined and ruddy? The damage was always on its way and then came prancing through the door – tada!! Hey! Don’t you wish you had skipped that Crisco tanning contest summer of your senior year and used that SPF your mother told you about? Too late now!

Whether you’re acne prone or not, inflammation is inflammation, you’ll simply become inflamed more quickly if you are already oily/acneic vs very dry. Everyone’s skin is different and there are all kinds of acne presentations, but just because you don’t look like a Proactiv commercial doesn’t mean your skin is healthy.
Coconut oil;
– will ultimately make dry skin drier due to gradual barrier destruction
– will cause breakouts in oily and acne prone skin because it badly inflames and clogs pores
– does not sit on top of the skin (that’s a myth) – it penetrates and accumulates in the stratum corneum, where it feels light, pleasant, and initially very satisfying but slowly begins to aggravate
– has almost zero topical nutritional benefit – no carotenoids, only trace vitamins, scant oxidative stress relief, and comparatively speaking, an extremely low antioxidant presence.
– is a tiny molecule, NOT a large molecule.
– has antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial qualities and can boost the immune system – but at a price for easily congested skin
Coconut oil fatty acid composition percentages:
Lauric acid 45-52%
Myristic acid 16%-21%
Caprylic acid 5%-10%
Capric acid 4%-8%
Caproic acid 0.5%-1%
Palmitic acid 7%-10%
Oleic acid 5%-8%
Palmitoleic acid in traces
Linoleic acid 1%-3%
Linolenic acid up to 0.2%
Stearic acid 2%-4%

Guess what – lauric acid, myristic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid and stearic acid are all comedogenic. Lauric and myristic acids are both highly comedogenic [acne causing] and are the two highest percentages.

There are always going to be people for whom everything works, but they’re in the minority. For the people struggling with the health of their skin, the discovery of the “why” is the best way to illustrate what works and what doesn’t.

Copyright © 2017 Beth Kenerson
all rights reserved



Hyperpigmentation, part 4 (and 5)

To recap:  We’ve talked about the importance of a good SPF, and ingredients that are MSH inhibitors and tyrosinase inhibitors, and which products you can find those in.

Now onto interrupting that pigmentation formation with steps 4 & 5.

Natural ingredients for skin care on pink backgroundStep 4:
L Dopa Inhibitors
There only one single ingredient I’ve come across in this category.  Aloesin, which is from the Aloe plant. Unfortunately ‘aloe vera’ doesn’t have the same effect as ‘aloesin’, which is a bioactive compound of Aloe.
I’m still looking for products / formulation with this ingredient!
There may be more L Dopa Inhibitors, but I haven’t come across them yet.

Step 5:
Melanosome transfer inhibitors
The last chance we get to stop pigmentation formation is where the melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), which also does a LOT of other cool things (it could have it’s own blog post!) and Daisy Blossom Extract help to inhibit the melanosome transfer.
These ingredients can be found in Specktra6’s Brightening Serum, Brightening Cleanser, and Brightening Essence.  Niacinamide is in a lot of other products we carry, just ask!

This is how I’ve broken down the melanogenesis process and how to interrupt it (as I understand it)  I hope you find my information to be accurate.  If I need to look at something more closely, please leave me a comment!

Why you -don’t- need hydroquinone! Hyperpigmentation part 3

Daisy Blossom Extract can lighten your age spots!

Daisy Blossom Extract helps to stop pigment issues in 3 out of the 5 steps!


In Step 1 we learned why SPF is so incredibly important, and Step 2 touched on MSH inhibitors.

Step 3:

Tyrosinase Inhibitors

“Tyrosinase is an oxidase that is the rate-limiting enzyme for controlling the production of melanin.”  That sentence comes straight from Wikipedia.  It’s kind of confusing.  Really you just need to know that there are a LOT of ingredients that help to stop pigmentation at this juncture.  

I am only going to highlight a few of them for you, but first I want to talk about perhaps the most recognizable tyrosinase inhibitor, hydroquinone.    

  • It’s a steroid compound, so it thins collagen over time
  • it’s banned in the UK because it’s possibly carcinogenic
  • it should only be used for three months at a time, whereas other lightening agents can be used constantly
  • it can cause darkening in some skin
  • exogenous ochronosis can occur (dark blue pigment)
  • hypopigmentation can occur
  • it’s not the most effective lightening agent on the market, and rebound darkening can occur when you stop using it

As I said above, there are loads of other tyrosinase inhibitors besides hydroquinone, and a lot of them are more effective and they don’t have crazy side effects.  Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Alpha Arbutin, Bearberry, Licorice, Daisy Blossom, Mulberry, Ferula Foetida Extract, Kojic Acid, and Azelaic Acid.  These ingredients can be found in Specktra6’s products Brightening Cleanser, Brightening Essence, Brightening Serum, and Bearberry Moisturizer,  and in a lot of Environ products.
Want to find out which products are best for your skin issues?  Contact Ginger at Specktra6 today!